Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy Note 2: Battle of the Samsung Flagships
Samsung are arguably the current king of the heap in many smartphone markets, but if you're already a Samsung convert, then which Samsung Flagship model smartphone or phablet should you pick up? This time around, we answer this question and see how the Samsung Galaxy S4 / S IV, Samsung Galaxy S III and Samsung Galaxy Note II match up. The one page tech specs comparison can be seen here.
Which Samsung Flagship Smartphone is best?
The Samsung Galaxy S III is by far the oldest model in the bunch for this round of comparisons followed by the Samsung Galaxy Note II. The Samsung Galaxy S4 / S IV on the other has yet to be officially released here in Malaysia although quite a few reviewers have had the chance to take a crack at it. While both the Samsung Galaxy S III and S4 / S IV fall under the smartphone category, the Samsung Galaxy Note II is technically a phablet or phone tablet, so this comparison isn't exactly an apples to apples comparison. Still, it should cover most of your concerns on which Samsung Flagship model suits you best.
The Samsung Galaxy S III has the best price but oldest tech
The price in Malaysia for the Samsung Galaxy S4 / S IV still hasn't been disclosed but many are estimating it to cost around RM2400 and below on contract or around RM2699 without any data plan contract. The Samsung Galaxy Note II on the other hand used to go for an RRP of RM2299 without contract but this has since dropped to around RM1750 and lower on contract (the U Mobile deal for example offers a subsidized price of RM899). Being the oldest model, the Samsung Galaxy S III used to retail at around the same price but has since dropped down to about RM1499 without contract. Under the Maxis Talkmore48 + 1GB data plan deal it is perhaps the most affordable at RM599.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 / S IV has the best design and screen
Since they are all Samsung devices, they all generally look the same and are built using the same polycarbonate plastic chassis. However, the Samsung Galaxy S4 / S IV definitely looks better than the Galaxy S III thanks to its narrower bezels and larger screen. It fits better in the hand too. The Samsung Galaxy SIII still looks better than the Samsung Galaxy Note II which is just a larger version of the Galaxy S III but in terms of UI the Note II looks better. While all of them use Super AMOLED screens, the Samsung Galaxy S4 / S IV is the only one that offers 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution. The colours on the S4's 5.0-inch screen are also better balanced compared to the oversaturated look on the Note II and Galaxy S III. Both the Note II and Galxy S III feature 720 x 1280 pixel density screens but since the 4.8-inch screen on the Galaxy S III is smaller than the Note II's 5.5-inch screen, it has a higher ppi of 306 pixels per inch. Thanks to the Corning Gorilla Glass 3, the Galaxy S4 is also tougher than the other two which use Corning Gorilla Glass 2.
Specs Fight! Who is the Winner?
The Samsung Galaxy S4 / S IV is better than the Galaxy S III and Note II in almost every way. It has a better Exynos 5 Octa or Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, a 13MP autofocus camera with dual video call, a much better PowerVR SGX 544MP3 graphics chip and it has one of the longest list of Galaxy S features available. By contrast the Note II matches up better to the Galaxy S4 as it also has a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, LTE support and 2GB of RAM but apart from this and it's screen it is virtually identical to the Galaxy S III. Granted the Note II does have a much larger battery and a few more S features thanks to its awesome S pen but everything else is more or less the same. There is only one area where both the Note II and Galaxy S III outdo the Galaxy S4 and that is in terms of radio support, which the Galaxy S4 doesn't have.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 / S IV scores about 27000 and above in the AnTuTu benchmark while the Samsung Galaxy S III gets a score of 16301 and above. The Samsung Galaxy Note II outdoes the Galaxy S III with an AnTuTu score of 17531. In terms of battery life, the Note II easily wins this test thanks to its larger 3100 mAh battery but the Galaxy S III surprisingly edges out the Galaxy S4, perhaps because the Galaxy S4 has a larger screen and more powerful processor.
If you had to pick a winner, the Samsung Galaxy S4 / S IV remains our best choice mainly because it outperforms all the rest, has the most and best features and is probably the smartphone to futureproof you against buying another smartphone for another 2-3 years. If you must choose between the Samsung Galaxy Note II and S III and don't care about the screen size, then the Note II is the better choice. Newer features and better performance with support for newer technologies along with S Pen support make the Note II a better bet. In a different battle with less worthy smartphones the Samsung Galaxy S III could probably hold it's ground and win but against it's two newer successors it places 3rd in our Samsung Flagship smartphone battle. Still, if your needs are very little and you don't mind being tied to Maxis for two years, the RM599 deal for the Galaxy S III is very tempting, especially for someone currently using an obsolete phone.